Our Responsible Tourism Policy
The following are Nature Expeditions’ key principles for responsible tourism, sustainable ecotourism and environmental protection.
Tourism is one of the most important and largest industries on the planet. It employs more people worldwide than any other, with millions of families relying on tourism for their daily needs. With every corner of the world becoming more accessible and affordable, the importance of travelling responsibly has never been greater.
Travelling responsibly is about demonstrating respect for the people, culture and environment you’re visiting. Responsible travel also helps to fund environmental and cultural conservation and gives locals a reason to conserve.
At Nature Expeditions the key points in my philosophy are:
- Small groups have less impact on local communities and environments.
- We should always leave places as we would like to find them.
- We should ensure that our practices help in the environmental conservation of the areas we visit.
- Every destination is someone else’s home.
- I am careful to ensure that local staff and operators receive a fair rate for their services.
- I provide my clients with advice and guidelines on how to respect the social, cultural and religious beliefs of local communities.
Responsible travel is central to the way this business is run. I will design and operate my holidays, tours, expeditions and experience days in a way that gives the highest degree of long-term economic benefit to the host communities, whilst also maintaining and improving the environment.
- I will attempt to integrate the ethos of responsible travel throughout our organisation.
- I aim to ensure that our type and scale of tourism is appropriate to local conditions and does not overload local infrastructure.
- I will take into consideration economic, environmental and cultural issues when looking at new destinations.
- I aim to achieve zero litter policies everywhere we travel, and whenever the opportunity presents itself we, as a group will spend a few minutes of our time collecting a small bag-full of local plastic litter so as to educate the observing locals that it needs to be picked-up and that we are prepared to do something to improve their environment. We could never clear it all, but by demonstrating in this small way hopefully they will learn from our example.
- I aim to minimise water and atmospheric pollution from any specific tourism development we use.
- I work closely with all relevant local bodies and authorities to help preserve or improve the environment and deliver a long-term benefit for the host community.
- Where possible I will encourage local involvement and provide financial support for educational, social or environmental projects that will benefit the local communities.
- I aim to develop long-term relationships with our partners overseas so that the economic benefit is ongoing.
- My tours avoid the use of wild animals for the purpose of human entertainment and I do not endorse the use of elephant rides on my adventures, as promoting any captive animal attraction only increases the demand for captive animals.
- I will encourage my clients, through my literature to act in a socially responsible way.
- I frequently employ local guides directly from the local community. Ensuring the guide knows the local wildlife, values it and follows the same ethics as I do. Or I educate them in the ways I believe they should operate.
- I will attempt to operate our holidays, tours, expeditions and experience days in a way that encourages positive cultural exchanges.
- I will attempt to impart an insight and understanding of the host culture and community to my clients so that they can gain more from visiting them.
- I will provide regular and ongoing training in the principles and practices of responsible travel, both to our office staff and those employed directly or indirectly around the world.
- Everyone has a responsibility to be the best traveller they can be.
Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)
Nature Expeditions is a member of the global network of ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association). ATTA serves more than 1,000 members in 100 countries worldwide to support and benefit from the creation of sustainable adventure travel markets with focus on people, planet and profit. Members network with destinations, tour operators, travel agents, accommodations, service partners and media partners worldwide.
As an ATTA member, Nature Expeditions formally adopts the Values Statement declared by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). While we believe that no organization is perfect in its actions regarding responsibility and sustainability, it is our intent to move towards such goals.